Italy’s ADM to Issue More eSports Licenses

It has today been announced that Italy’s online gaming and betting regulator, Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM), is set to issue further eSports licenses in order to channel the vertical to the regulated betting operators working in the country.

This move follows the continuous increase in popularity that eSports is gaining, with betting operators attempting to attract potential eSports bettors to their websites in a bid to cross-sell them into their ‘traditional’ sports betting offerings.

The first batch of new eSports licenses will cover the ‘DOTA 2’ and ‘League of Legends’ franchises, and will be regulated under the betting decree of July 2013 on sports and other events as identified by the licensees and verified by the ADM.

Valerie Peano, partner at the Rome-based law firm EGLA, said that the 2013 decree placed “limitations on the types of bets that could be placed: the nature of the bets must not include any sort of violent, indecent or discriminating offer. Therefore, eSports instigating violent behaviours and/or any kind of discrimination will not be accepted”.

Licensed operators will list the eSports events that they will be offering markets on, and the ADM will add the events in the betting schedule along with the real-time results through the national central system.

“As a general rule, licensees shall submit a technical report to detail (i) the eSport event/s, (ii) the bet/s to be included within said customised betting program and (iii) the results certification modalities of the event through two different sources of information, one official (e.g. federations) as well as (iv) the licensee’s system description for relevant data registration and storage,” added Peano.

Licensees will also have to offer solutions to facilitate access to information by the regulator, particularly to live events, so that it can carry out monitoring and inspection activities. ADM will also maintain authority over betting integrity issues as well as the risks associated with irregular betting patterns.

FanDuel acquires eSports platform AlphaDraft

FanDuel, one of the biggest fantasy sports operator, has announced the acquisition of Alpha Draft, a major eSports platform. It is FanDuel’s first move into eSports market.

It proves that the industries of eSports and fantasy sports are getting closer to each other like never before. What is more, a few days ago it was reported that DraftKings will have eSports contests available within its markets from the beginning of October 2015. The company is also planning to enter the UK market soon.

To put the size of eSports industry into perspective, the latest predictions say that the number of eSports fans will catch up with the number of American Football fans in two years.

Because of FanDuel’s ambitions to become the biggest operator in the fantasy sports industry, it has recently made other serious investments, such as acquiring Kotikan and numberFire.

Nigel Eccles, FanDuel’s CEOsaid “With over 200 million people globally watching eSports, AlphaDraft gives those fans a way to engage with this burgeoning entertainment product that creates an enormous opportunity for us.”

“This is sports for a new demographic, with very little crossover with what are considered traditional sports fans, and this acquisition gives us the ability to leverage the expertise of AlphaDraft’s team, while helping their efforts in customer acquisition and building awareness of this new industry.  It’s a win-win”, he added.

“This pairing creates an incredible opportunity to drive the fantasy industry forward and create compelling products that will enhance all fan engagement”, said Todd Peterson, the CEO of Alpha Draft.


Betgenius releases in-play eSports product

Betgenius, sports betting software provider, has released an eSports market inventory with pre-match and in-play features.

Now, using Betgenius software, operators can conduct full automatisation of their pre-match betting within the most important eSports events, such as League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Heroes of the Storm. The goal that Betgenius hopes to achieve, is to offer as exact in-play eSports odds as possible, as well as the best margins.

The new product, which includes different engagement tools such as live scoreboards will be available on multiple channels, namely desktop, tablet and smartphones. This way, Betgenius wants to deliver better user experience and further sustain the interaction.

CEO of Betgenius, Mark Locke, said: “This is a real first in our industry and I am thrilled that we can now offer such an exclusive product to our customers.

“Over 30% of current eSports fans have engaged with some form of betting online – this represents an excellent opportunity for the market. On recognising this, we began building a sophisticated product line that not only offers pre-match odds across all major competitions base but also a full live betting offering, which is generated through our specialist software capability”, he further comments.